ROMANCE

Not the Girl You Marry

Berkley. Nov. 2019. 336p. ISBN 9781984802682. $16; ebk. ISBN 9781984802699. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
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Journalist Jack Nolan and event planner Hannah Mayfield both seek a temporary, fake relationship in order to get ahead in their careers. Hannah needs to show her boss that she understands love and commitment and is therefore capable of planning sophisticated weddings. Jack wants to write about serious topics but has to create one more silly listicle first: “How To Lose a Girl.” He sets out to do all the stupid things men do that ruin relationships. As Hannah and Jack hide their real intentions behind the blossoming relationship, both start to realize maybe they want it to be real after all. Hannah is the shining star of this story; she’s funny, outspoken, and fiercely loyal. Other secondary characters falter by comparison, but Hannah’s strong voice and sizzling chemistry with Jack keep the story enticing. Some deeper topics, such as interracial relationships and family dynamics after divorce, are touched on with finesse.
VERDICT Readers who are loving this surge of inclusive, sexy romantic comedies will be charmed by this latest from best-selling author Christopher (Dusk Until Dawn). [See Editors’ Picks, “Fall Fireworks,” p. 24.]

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